Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.
In The Black Swan, Taleb showed us that highly improbable and unpredictable events underlie almost everything about our world. Here Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary. The antifragile is beyond the resilient or robust. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better and better.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb has devoted his life to problems of uncertainty, probability, and knowledge. He spent two decades as a trader before becoming a philosophical essayist and academic researcher. Although he now spends most of his time either working in intense seclusion in his study, or as a flâneur meditating in cafés across the planet, he is currently Distinguished Professor of Risk Engineering at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute. His main subject matter is “decision making under opacity”, that is, a map and a protocol on how we should live in a world we don’t understand.
His works are grouped under the general title Incerto (latin for uncertainty), composed of a trilogy accessible in any order (Antifragile, The Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness) plus two addenda: a book of philosophical aphorisms (The Bed of Procrustes) and a freely available Technical Companion. Taleb’s books have been published in thirty-three languages.
Really made me think about how I think (Mohsin Hamid Guardian)
The hottest thinker in the world (Bryan Appleyard The Sunday Times)
A superhero of the mind (Boyd Tonkin)
Wall Street’s principal dissident (Malcolm Gladwell)
A guru for every would-be Damien Hirst, George Soros and aspirant despot (John Cornwell Sunday Times)
Nassim Taleb, in his exasperating but compelling book Antifragile, praises “things that gain from disorder” – people, policies and institutions designed to thrive on volatility, instead of shattering in the encounter with it (Oliver Burkman Guardian)
More than just robust or flexible, it actively thrives on disruption (Julian Baggini Guardian)
Modern life is akin to a chronic stress injury. And the way to combat it is to embrace randomness in all its forms. . . Taleb is the great seer of the modern age (Guardian)
Something antifragile actively thrives under the impact of the unexpected…to embrace randomness rather than trying to control it (The Sunday Times)